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Economic Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture


Find articles about Fertilizers in the Section:

Encuentre trabajos sobre ferrtilización en la Sección:

Ag Chemicals & Production Technology

  • Cropping Practices

  • Fertilizers

  • Genetically Engineered Inputs

  • Organic Agriculture & Production

  • Pest Management & IPM (Integrated Pest Management)

  • Pesticides - Production Input Industries 




 Potash & Phosphate Institute (PPI) Potash & Phosphate Institute of Canada (PPIC)


Latin America Southern Cone (INPOFOS - Cono Sur)

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"Banding P on Low P Soils Makes Larger Profits". Authors: Angel Berardo, Fernando D. Grattone y Guillermo Borrajo.

"Corn Yield Response to Phosphorus Fertilization in the Southeastern Pampas". Authors: Angel Berardo, Santiago Ehrt, Fernando E. Grattone and Fernando O. García. ("Corn is a major crop in agricultural systems of the southern Pampas of Argentina where soils are low in phosphorus (P) availability. This research suggests a critical soil P level that can help define where profitable responses to P application are obtainable").

"Identifying Fertilization Needs for Soybean in Argentina". Authors: F.H. Gutiérrez-Boem, J.D. Scheiner, and R.S. Lavado. ("This research shows that phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S) fertilizers can increase soybean yields in a region where few farmers fertilize this crop. However, current information is insufficient to develop a fertilizer recommendation program").

"Nutrient balance and management in crop rotations". Author: Fernando O. García. ("Nutrient removal by grains and forages exceeds nutrient application in the Pampas of Argentina. These negative nutrient balances and inadequate soil management have resulted in significant nutrient losses, and, thus, in reduced crop yields. Fertilization management would improve this situation. Generally, fertilization management is only decided considering the needs of the inmediate crop but several local and international experiences have shown the residual effects of nutrients of low mobility such as phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), and even of nutrients with high mobility such as nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S). Residual effects improve crop yields as well as soil properties, i.e. organic matter content").

"No-Tillage in the Pampas of Argentina: a success story". Authors: Fernando O. García, Martín Ambroggio, and Victor Trucco. (No-tillage (NT) in Argentina has developed into a successful management system in the Pampas region. AAPRESID (Asociacion Argentina de Productores en Siembra Directa), a national no-tillage farmer and agronomist association, has driven this expansion with the collaboration of the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA) and other agricultural institutions and companies. Sustainable higher yields under NT require improved nutrient management").

"P and S Fertilization Increase Soybean Yields in the Pampas". Author: Fernando O. García.

"Phosphorus and Sulfur Fertilization of Corn in the Northern Pampas". Authors: Hugo Fontanetto, Oscar Keller, Rubén Inwinkelried, Norberto Citroni, and Fernando García. ("Research shows that higher phosphorus (P) rates are needed for high yielding corn in the northern Pampas of Argentina. Sulfur (S) responses are significant in intensively cropped soils").

"Potential Impact of Soybean Fertilization in Argentina". Author: Fernando O. García.


Northern Latin American (INFOPOS)

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"Balanced fertilization of cocoa" see the english version in Fertilización del cacao.  ("Data obtained in the experiment demonstrate the need of fertilizing cocoa plantations completely exposed to sunlight.  The treatment that produced the highest yield was fertilized with 150 kg of N, 90 kg. of P2O5 and 200 kg. K2O per hectare. This data show that adequate and balanced fertilization of cocoa can be profitable and it sustains yield through time").


"Chlorine in soils and plants: myths and reality". Short communication.  More information about chloride is available by clicking on the: PPI Chloride Site


"Phosphorus and Potassium Fertilization and Mineral Nutrition of Soybean in Guarico State (Venezuela)" see the english version in Fósforo y Potasio en Soya. Autor: E. F. Casanosa. ("Although soybean yields are improving in Venezuela, current production levels fall far short of the amounts needed to satisfy local feed markets.  This research helps to identify best managemet practices needed for sustained, high yields on Venezuela's acid, low fertility savanna soils").


"Fertilizer use efficiency in oil palm is increased under irrigation in Ecuador" see the english version in Fertilización y riego en palma aceitera. Authors: Francisco Mite, Manuel Carrillo and José Espinosa.  ("Since the early 1960’s, oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) has been grown in Ecuador in response to the growing demand of vegetable oils for human and industrial consumption.  Currently, the planted area comprises 113,000 ha with an expected expansion of 10,000 ha per year over the next five years.  One of the most important regions for oil palm cultivation is Quevedo, in Los Rios province, where approximately 20 percent of Ecuador's oil palm plantations are found.  This area is prone to soil water deficits and an experiment was carried out to investigate the effect of irrigation and improved mineral nutrition on oil palm growth and yield"). 

"Fertilizer Applications Maintain High Banana Yields Even in Soils with Relatively High Potassium Content". see the english version in Respuestas del banano en suelos altos en K.

"Effect of Plant Density and Nutrient Management on Plantain Yield". see the english version in Plátano altas densidades: nueva opción. Authors: Sylvio Belalcázar and José Espinosa. (Introduction. Hifh density plantain, a new option. Management of hish density plantain crops. Seed size. Plant uniformity. Disease control. Nutrient management). 

"Fertilization of High Density Plantain" see the english version in Fertilización plátanos altas densidades. Authors: José Espinosa y Sylvio Belalcázar.  ("Research in the main plantain (Musa paradisica L.) producing areas in Colombia has confirmed high plant density cultivation produces greater yields than traditional plant populations. However, nutrient management information under these high-density systems is lacking. Relevant information of field experiments conducted in Colombia, to refine fertilizer recommendations for high-density plantain cultivation, is presented here").

"Phosphorus Fertilizer Is Critical for Potato Production in Volcanic Soils". see the english version in Respuesta de la papa al P en suelos volcánicos.

"Potato Response to Potassium Application in Volcanic Soils".  see the english version in Respuesta de la papa al K en suelos volcánicos.  Authors: Juan Córdova y Franklin Valverde. ("Volcanic soils are commonly mistaken as high potassium (K) soils that provide little opportunity for crop response to K fertilizer. This research, conducted in the highlands of Ecuador, shows K application is capable of increasing total potato yield, improving quality, and reducing the effects of water stress on successive crops").


Mexico and North Central America (INFOPOS)

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"K and Broccoli Development - Potassium is an Important Nutrient in Broccoli during Floret Development".


"K Soil and Foliar for Coffee production in Guatemala - Potassium Soil and Foliar Critical Values for Optimum Coffee Production in Guatemala".


"Nutrient Extraction by Different Avocado Cultivars".


"Optimize Potassium and Magnesium fertilization to Alfalfa grown on Vertisol soils of Central Mexico".


"The Need for P and K in "La Fraylesca Soils" - Heart of Corn Production in Southern Mexico".


"Do You Know the Proper N, P and K Balanced Fertilization for Sugar Cane to Increase Yield and Quality?"




Fertilizers and their use

Abstract: "This booklet presents guidelines for extension staff on the use of fertilizers. It explains the need for mineral fertilizers for agricultural development in support of food security and the maintenance of soil productivity. The booklet addresses the role of fertilization in plants in relation to soil characteristics. It provides general fertilizer recommendations for selected crops and contains information on soil and plant tissue testing. Practical suggestions are also offered regarding the design of fertilizer use demonstrations and extension techniques in general".

Authors: International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), Francia and Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO). Rome, 2000. 70 pp.   Fourth Edition. ISBN 92-5-104414-7.


Mineral fertilizer distribution and the environment

Contents: PART 1. The Issues. Preface. 1. Global environmental context. 1.1 Environmental Agenda. 1.2 Cause for action. 1.3 Trends in looking for solutions. 1.4 Actions by various stakeholders. 1.5 Fertilizer distribution, an important part of the product life cycle. 2. Forms and conditioning of fertilizers 2.1 Definitions. 2.2 Factors influencing fertilizer distribution systems. 2.3 Forms of fertilizers. 2.4 Conditioning of fertilizers. 3. Costs and management systems. 3.1 Marketing costs. 3.2 Management systems - India. 4. Transport. 4.1 International trade in fertilizers and their raw materials. 4.2 Sea transport. 4.3 Transport regulations. 4.4 The transportation system in the USA. 4.5 Environmental aspects. 5. Fertilizer losses. 5.1 Information on fertilizer losses. 5.2 The extent of fertilizer losses. 5.3 Factors determining fertilizer losses in handling and storage. 5.4 The reduction of fertilizer losses. Annex 1: The stacking of fertilizer bags. Annex 2: Loss reduction rules for fertilizers in bags. Annex 3: Loss reduction rules for bulk fertilizers. 6. Environment. 6.1 Codes of practice. 6.2 Toxic impurities. 6.3 Waste disposal. 6.4 Safety. 6.5 Fire. 6.6 Environmental compliance. 6.7 Community relations. Annex. 7. Quality and services. 7.1 The importance of fertilizer quality. 7.2 Granule quality. 7.3 Complex fertilizers. 7.4 Bulk blends. 7.5 Advice and services. 7.6 A case study on distribution-sector services offered by a fertilizer manufacturer. 8. Consumer protection legislation. 8.1 An overview. 8.2 Some examples. 8.3 Regulation of particular fertilizers. 8.4 Sanctions. 8.5 Labeling - an example, France. References and further reading.  Part 2. Case studies. Introduction. 1. Regional overviews. 1.1 West Europe. 1.2 Central and East Europe. 1.3 North America. 1.4 Latin America. 1.5 Sub-Saharan Africa, SSA. 1.6 Asia. 2. Country overviews. Argentina. Australia. Austria. Bangladesh. Belgium. Brazil. Canada. China. Denmark. Egypt. France. Germany. India. Indonesia. Ireland. Japan. Korea Republic. Malawi. Netherlands. Norway. Pakistan. Philippines. South Africa. Spain. Sri Lanka. Thailand. Turkey. United Kingdom. United States. Zimbabwe. About IFA and UNEP.

Author:Isherwood, K. F. IFA/UNEP, March 2000. 106 pp. ISBN 2-9506299-4-6 .

Source:  International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA).


Soil and Plant Phosphate

Introduction: "Phosphorus is essential to all living organisms. The element phosphorus, however, does not occur by itself in nature, it is always combined with other elements to form many different phosphates, some of which are very complex. In this booklet the word phosphorus or the symbol for the element, P, will usually be used rather than attempting to define the particular phosphate involved.  Phosphorus passes from one organism to another in the various food chains. Humankind acquires its phosphorus from plants which directly, or indirectly through animals, provide the food we eat. In turn, plant roots take up phosphorus and most other elements from the soil solution - the water in the soil. The soil solution invariably contains too little phosphorus to meet the requirements of actively growing plants. Thus there has to be a supply of readily available phosphorus in the soil to replenish the phosphorus in the soil solution as it is removed by crop uptake. Most unimproved soils contain too little readily available phosphorus for crops to produce optimum yields. Thus, additional phosphorus must be added to soils if they are to produce enough food to provide an adequate diet both now and in the future. Most of this additional phosphorus must come from fertilizers because too little is available from other sources".

Contents: Introduction.  The Essential Role of Phosphorus in Living Organisms.  The Occurrence of Phosphorus in Nature.  The Uses of Phosphorus.  Phosphorus and the Development of Farming Systems.  Soil Phosphorus and its Availability. Phosphorus Acquisition by Roots.  Soil Phosphorus Reserves.  Readily Available Soil Phosphorus and Fertilizer Recommendations.  The importance of maintaining the critical readily available soil phosphorus level.  The Efficient Use of Phosphorus Fertilizers.  Mineral Phosphorus Fertilizers.  Phosphorus and Environmental Issues.  Concluding Remarks.  References and Further Reading.

Author:  A. E. Johnston. Published by IFA. 46 pp.  ISBN 2-9506299-5-4.

Fuente: International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), Francia.



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